This was a possibility from the beginning, but it doesn’t make the news any less difficult to swallow (or any less infuriating): Michelle MacLaren has departed Warner Bros. and DC’s Wonder Woman movie due to “creative differences,” and it’s not the first time a female director has left a project over such differences in recent memory (remember Patty Jenkins and Thor: The Dark World?).

The devastating news comes from THR, which reports WB’s official statement on the matter:

Given creative differences, Warner Bros. and Michelle MacLaren have decided not to move forward with plans to develop and direct Wonder Woman together.

Known for her directing work on Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, MacLaren’s hiring on the Wonder Woman movie was the first piece of genuinely exciting news to come out of the DC movie universe. Let’s be real, here: DC and WB’s plans for these films are decidedly more serious in tone than Marvel’s MCU. Bringing people like MacLaren (and more recently, Phil Lord and Chris Miller) into the fold showed that WB wasn’t content to simply follow the Zack Snyder model and are smartly pursuing more diverse options.

Not only was WB’s decision to hire a female director incredibly smart, but that they hired someone as talented as MacLaren was impressive. My hope, now, is that Marvel will take this opportunity to snatch MacLaren up for Captain Marvel. After Jenkins parted ways with Thor: The Dark World, Marvel has really needed to step up and hire a skilled female director with a strong vision for one of their films — Captain Marvel is it. If Marvel hires MacLaren, not only is it a win for the MCU, but it’s an effective diss to DC.

Hopefully we’ll learn more as this story continues to develop, but “creative differences” is such a lame excuse, and one we hear too often when it comes to female filmmakers.

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